Joint Statement on the Global Food and Nutrition Security Crisis

Joint Statement by the Heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Food Programme and World Trade Organization on the Global Food and Nutrition Security Crisis

February 8, 2023

Washington, DC:

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General Qu Dongyu,
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina
Georgieva, World Bank Group (WBG) President David Malpass, World Food
Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley and World Trade
Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala issued the
following joint statement calling for continued urgent action to
address the global crisis on food and nutrition security.

We offer our deepest sympathies to the people of Türkiye and the
neighboring Syrian Arab Republic who have suffered the recent earthquakes.
Our organizations are closely monitoring the situation, assessing the
magnitude of the disaster, and working to mobilize necessary support in
accordance with each organization’s mandates and procedures.

Globally, poverty and food insecurity are both on the rise after decades of
development gains. Supply chain disruptions, climate change, the COVID-19
pandemic, financial tightening through rising interest rates and the war in
Ukraine have caused an unprecedented shock to the global food system, with
the most vulnerable hit the hardest. Food inflation remains high in the
world, with dozens of countries experiencing double digit inflation.
According to WFP, 349 million people across 79 countries are acutely food
insecure. The prevalence of undernourishment is also on the rise, following
three years of deterioration. This situation is expected to worsen, with
global food supplies projected to drop to a three-year low in 2022/2023. [1] The need is especially dire in 24 countries that FAO and WFP
have identified as hunger hotspots, of which 16 are in Africa. [2] Fertilizer affordability as defined by the ratio between
food prices and fertilizer prices[3] is also the lowest since
the 2007/2008 food crisis, which is leading to lower food production and
impacting smallholder farmers the hardest, worsening the already high local
food prices. For example, the reduction in 2022 of the production of rice,
for which Africa is the largest importer in the world, coupled with
prospects of lower stocks, is of grave concern. In response to the
inflation of food, fuel and fertilizer prices, countries have spent over
US$710 billion for social protection measures covering 1 billion people,
including approximately US$380 billion for subsidies. [4]
However, only US$4.3 billion has been spent in low-income countries for
social protection measures, compared to US$507.6 billion in high-income

To prevent a worsening of the food and nutrition security crisis,
further urgent actions are required to (i) rescue hunger hotspots, (ii)
facilitate trade, improve the functioning of markets, and enhance the
role of the private sector, and (iii) reform and repurpose harmful
subsidies with careful targeting and efficiency. Countries should
balance short-term urgent interventions with longer-term resilience
efforts as they respond to the crisis.

Rescue hunger hotspots

We call on governments and donors to support country-level efforts to
address the needs in hotspots, share information and strengthen crisis

The WFP and FAO need funds urgently to
serve the most vulnerable immediately. In 2022, WFP and
partners reached a record number of people – more than 140 million – with
food and nutrition assistance, based on a record-breaking US$14 billion in
contributions, of which US$7.3 billion came from the United States
Government alone. WFP sent over US$3 billion in cash-based transfers to
people in 72 countries and provided support to school feeding programs in
80 countries, including 15 million children through direct support and more
than 90 million children through bolstering government national school
feeding programs. FAO has invested US$1 billion to support
more than 40 million people in rural areas with time sensitive agricultural
interventions. These activities were primarily focused on the 53 countries
listed in the Global Report on Food Crises. The World Bank
is providing a US$30 billion food and nutrition security package covering
the 15 months from April 2022 to June 2023, including US$12 billion of new
projects, which have all been committed ahead of schedule. This also
includes US$3.5 billion in new financing for food and nutrition security in
hotspots. In addition, the Bank has allocated US$748 million from its US$1
billion Early Response Financing modality of IDA’s Crisis Response Window
(CRW) to mostly address needs in hotspots and is mobilizing additional
funds for the CRW. Funding for the IMF’s Poverty Reduction
and Growth Trust (PRGT) must also be mobilized to provide concessional
financing to low-income countries facing balance of payment needs. The
IMF’s new Food Shock Window has so far supported Ukraine, Malawi, Guinea
and Haiti, while nine countries facing acute food insecurity benefited from
IMF financial support through new programs or augmentation of existing
ones, with a focus on strengthening social safety nets and policies to help
address the impact of the food crisis. The Global Alliance for Food
Security (GAFS) is supporting greater crisis preparedness through the
development and operationalization of multi-sectoral Food Security Crisis
Preparedness Plans across 26 counties, which should be supported by
governments and donors. GAFS also continues to monitor the severity of the
food crisis and the financing of the global response through the Global
Food and Nutrition Security Dashboard. We also welcome efforts by all
parties to mobilize more funding for Africa’s agricultural transformation,
as noted in the Dakar Declaration[5] and we want to thank David
Beasley, Executive Director, of the WFP, for the tremendous work done
during his tenure.


Facilitate trade, improve the functioning of markets, and enhance
the role of the private sector

Countries should minimize trade distortions, strengthen the provision
of public goods,

and enable the private sector to contribute meaningfully to improved
food security outcomes.

We repeat our urgent call for countries to (i) avoid policies such as
export restrictions, which can impede access to food for poor consumers
in low-income food-importing countries; (ii) support trade facilitation

to improve availability of

food and fertilizer, (iii) support trade finance initiatives in a
transparent and in non-discriminatory manner; and (iv) adhere to the
commitments made at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference. [6]

While countries have lifted some export bans on wheat and rice, new export
restrictions and bans, particularly on vegetables, are hampering
availability on global markets. Global food security can be strengthened if
governments support both food producers and consumers in a smart and
targeted manner, such as by strengthening the provision of public goods in
ways that improve farm productivity sustainably. Countries can use
e-voucher schemes for fertilizers and avoid large-scale public procurement
and subsidized distribution schemes, either on farm inputs or farm
products, that crowd out the private sector. The WBG’s US$6 billion IFC Global Food Security Platform supports farmers to
access fertilizers and other critical supplies while helping private
companies make longer-term investments, focusing on improving the
resilience of agri-food systems and fertilizer use efficiency. Countries
should follow FAO‘s International Code of Conduct for the
Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizers to sustainably manage
nutrients for food security.[7]


Reform and repurpose harmful subsidies with careful targeting and

Countries should reform and repurpose general universal subsidies
towards temporary, better targeted programs for global food security
and sustainable food systems, considering the key aspects of (i)
efficiency, (ii) cost and fiscal sustainability, (iii) flexibility,
(iv) administrative complexity, (v) equity, and (vi) strengthened
resilience and sustainability.

Most of the global social protection response to inflation is in the form
of subsidies, half of which are untargeted, inefficient, and costly to
already constrained governments. Support should be scaled up for countries
to strengthen and deploy comprehensive, actionable and shock responsive
social protection strategies. Policies and reforms supported by financing
from IMF and the World Bank have focused on the transition from broad-based
measures to more targeted approaches. Countries need to re-examine and
reform their support to agriculture, which amounted to about US$639 billion
per year between 2016 and 2018, and has since been on the rise. Of every
dollar spent, only 35 cents end up with farmers.[8] Much of this
support incentivizes inefficient use of resources, distorts global markets,
or undermines environmental sustainability, public health, and agricultural
productivity. Without ignoring the inherent trade-offs associated with
large scale policy reforms [9], this funding should be reformed
and repurposed in ways that strengthen the resilience and sustainability of
the agri-food system, such as the adoption of good agricultural practices,
research and innovation (including in fertilizer application efficiency and
alternatives to synthetic fertilizers), extension and advisory services,
improved infrastructure and logistics, and digital technologies that
improve productivity sustainably. The FAO new science and innovation
strategy and the agri-food systems technologies and innovations outlook, [10] together with the One CGIAR Initiative,
plays a pivotal role across these areas to deliver global benefits of
individual country reforms.[11]

Action is already under way to address underlying structural challenges in
social protection and in the food and fertilizer markets, but more
concerted action across these three key areas is needed to prevent a
prolonged crisis. We are committed to working jointly and with impact to
support the most vulnerable.

This is the third Joint Statement by the Heads of the Food and
Agriculture Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank
Group, World Food Programme, and World Trade Organization on the Global
Food and Nutrition Security Crisis. The previous Joint Statements can
be accessed

here (1)


here (2)



The World Bank Group: David Theis, [email protected]

IMF: Nicolas Mombrial, [email protected]

FAO: FAO News and Media, [email protected]

WTO: Bernard Kuiten, [email protected]

WFP: George Fominyen, [email protected]



[1] FAO. 2022. Crop Prospects and Food Situation – Quarterly Global Report
No. 4, December 2022. Rome.

. Additional notes: While global food commodity prices are softening in
tandem with global demand, they

remain above historical averages

, draining the resources of importing economies. Local food prices remain
high, impacting the poor who spend

more of their budget on food

. Emerging evidence suggests that gaps in food affordability is leading to

poorer nutrition outcomes

, especially affecting children. Today,

women are more food insecure than men

in every region of the world, and the current crisis is widening this gap.

[2] WFP and FAO. 2022. Hunger Hotspots. FAO‑WFP early warnings on acute
food insecurity: October 2022 to January 2023 Outlook. Rome.


[4] Gentilini, Almenfi, Iyengar, Valleriani, Okamura, Urteaga, and Aziz.
2022. Tracking Global Social Protection Responses to Inflation- Living
paper v. 4, December 2022. Washington, DC: World Bank.

[5] AfDB. 2022. Dakar Declaration on Food Sovereignty and
Resilience, January 2023. Dakar.

[6] WTO. 2022. Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency Response
to Food Insecurity Ministerial Conference Twelfth Session Geneva, June
2022. Geneva.

[7] FAO. 2019. The international Code of Conduct for the
sustainable use and management of fertilizers. Rome.

[8] Murphy-McGreevey, de Preneuf, and Sample. 2022. New Report on
Repurposing Agricultural Support to Transform Food Systems, February 2022:
Washington, D.C.

[9] FAO. 2021. Multi-Billion-Dollar Opportunity: Repurposing
agricultural support systems to transform food systems. Rome.

[10] FAO. 2022. The State of Food Security and Nutrition
in the World 2022.

[11] One CGIAR. (Accessed 6 February 2023).

IMF Communications Department

PRESS OFFICER: Nicolas Mombrial

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: [email protected]


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